Monday, May 13, 2013

Refreshing, Fresh Start ERP and Power Washing

Okay, I just finished power washing my deck in preparation of staining and although that may not sound all that terrific to you, I believe it has a lot of parallels to your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. 

First and foremost I had a lot to do and I really did not want to start something that would take some amount of time, however, tackling the biggest challenge of the day first and getting that done takes the a lot of pressure off.  Doing the little tasks are nice, because you get a lot of things done, but there is still this “big thing” to be done. 

In reality it was not that bad a job.  I had done it plenty of times before.  I just did not want to get started.  The deck is in relatively good shape.  It has been stained and receives a fresh coat each year.  Now the stain manufacturer says I can get five years usage on a deck surface.  That might be true, but it also depends on the type and amount of usage the deck receives.  Regardless, the deck is in not that bad a shape and I do what I found works.  The preventative maintenance is not nearly as much effort as replacing the entire deck due to neglect.   

Athorough cleaning is probably all it really needs and is what I could get away with, this year.  However, it just looks better and I feel more confident in the preparation with it being refreshed for a new season.  Trying to figure out what I can get away with is a lot more effort than just being proactive about taking care of what needs to get done.

In your ERP world, are you just getting by?  Are you doing simple maintenance?  Have you looked at the costs associated with replacing or upgrading your solution so that all of your people are more productive? 

Do you look at it as the costs or as the investment in your organization?

I am not suggesting that you replace your system each year.  But, what about upgrades to stay current?  How many releases behind are you?  How nimble is your organization should your customers or a potential new customer want to do business with you, but you do not have the resources available?

Does your ERP supplier have a preventative maintenance program?  Are they just fixing problems or are they looking at your industry to identify new trends and needs?  Are they asking you what you want and need or do they wait for requests?  How accessible are they and responsive to your growing needs?

Clear the clutter and streamline your operations.

Refresh your systems, invest in your enterprise which includes your employees and most of all your customers.  When was the last time you asked them what you could be doing to make things easier for them to do business with you?  I can guarantee that your competition is knocking at their door with what they can and will do for their business.

Do you let your customers know what you are doing to improve your processes? 

I believe that guests to our home appreciate that we make a welcome environment for them.  I am not sure if they know what effort goes into this environment to make them feel comfortable, however, I am sure they feel it.  Often they will say how nice and comfortable it is and I can elude to my philosophy of creating a welcome environment.  I do not do it for the thanks, it is just my way of being proactive.

In what way are you cleaning, protecting, and making a welcome environment for your guests (customers)?

Every one of your people are in customer service whether you realize it or not.  This includes the people that push the brooms, file the documents, answer the phones, make calls, analyze the data, hold board meetings.  Everyone.  It is a team effort and nothing happens unless everyone does their part.

Cleaning the deck or refreshing and investing in new systems is part of the overhead associated with not only staying current, but making your customers feel welcome and valued.  It is generally easier to keep up with the updates than try to do everything all at once every five years.

An ERP solution has a limited lifespan without regular maintenance.

Here is your opportunity to contact us.  At Dolvin Consulting we are interested in helping you help your customers.  A rising tide lifts all ships.  Our success depends on helping you be successful.  Perhaps you have an older system that is so far behind, perhaps you need to address growing pressure from your customers, perhaps you just want to know that you are already doing everything you can.  Contact us today to see how we can help.


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